Kanye West and Kim Kardashian have landed their second magazine cover together. This time around they will appear on the September issue for Harper’s Bazaar’s Icons by Carine Roitfeld, which includes a 17-page portfolio featuring the omnipresent couple along with models Natasha Poly, Lara Stone and Lindsey Wixson. Karl Lagerfeld shot the editorial at his studio in Paris and Stephen Gan led creative direction.
“Each season Stephen and I try to find icons who can make things more interesting,” said Roitfeld, who joined the magazine as global fashion director in 2012. “This time we were thinking about Kim and Kanye. They are a controversial couple and they will not please everyone, but we like them because they are different and represent positivity.”
“I do think they are a couple that defines this era,” said Gan when asked about their selection as icons. “Kim and Kanye were the best example of music meeting fashion and meeting pop culture. There’s no denying how powerful and diverse they are as a couple.”
Lagerfeld photographed the two in bed on top of his own antique sheets with cell phones, appropriately, in hand — Roitfeld said the designer wasn’t satisfied with the original sheets on set. According to Gan, the cover of the magazine, which shows West and Kardashian moments before they kiss, was a shot requested by the musician.
“Kanye asked for it,” Gan said. “It happened at the end of the shoot and we don’t have many frames for it. The next day during another shoot Carine walked over to me and said, ‘I can’t take the image of the kiss out of my head.’”
In the Q&A, which was conducted by Harper’s Bazaar executive editor Laura Brown, the pair talk about each others’ favorite body parts — they both choose an organ, the heart — and West’s love for Kardashian’s infamous nude selfies: “I think it’s important for Kim to have her figure. To not show it would be like Adele not singing,” West said.
This is the third time Roitfeld and Gan have worked together on the Icons portfolio and cover, which will appear in 32 editions of Harper’s Bazaar globally. Previous icons include Lady Gaga, who was selected in 2014, and Katy Perry, who was tapped last year. For the U.S. and U.K. editions, the portfolio will be wrapped by cosmetics brand Laura Mercier for both print and online.
Similar to the past two years, Harper’s Bazaar will throw a party on Sept. 9 at the Plaza Hotel in New York to celebrate the issue. If history repeats itself, West will perform — both Perry and Lady Gaga took the stage to commemorate each of their respective covers — but the magazine was unable to provide official details. Bazaar has also partnered with Laura Mercier for the event in addition to Infor and Stella Artois.
Roitfeld became an advocate of West and his ambitions in fashion early on — West affectionately called her “a real b—h” during his Yeezy Season 3 show at Madison Square Garden earlier this year — and her admiration for him has extended to Kardashian, who appeared on the September cover of the editor’s CR Fashion Book in September 2013.
“I think Kim totally changed the proposition of the body in fashion,” Roitfeld told WWD. “She has a very curvy shape, which was different from what designers use on the runway. For Kanye, he’s a creative genius and getting into fashion wasn’t easy for him but he’s finally found his place.”